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March 14[edit]

Are cracovians still in use?[edit]

There is a question at Talk:Cracovian#optimization, asked in 2008 and still not answered:

Article seems to dismiss Cracovian as a relic, but isn't this method still used in programming if speed and data cache misses are an issue?

The anonymous user made just two edits from that IP address and is probably not active on Wikipedia anymore, but the question remains: are cracovians still in use? --CiaPan (talk) 08:24, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, since it seems to be implemented in R (programming language) according to the Cracovian article, maybe that talk page might be a more fruitful place to ask. MinorProphet (talk) 16:40, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Cracovian matrix multiplication method is not implemented in R. The article states that there is a function in R that will give you the same result, but it uses a far more optimized method. Cracovian is a "by hand" method. It is not supposed to be implemented on a computer. (talk) 17:51, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

salt crontab[edit]

When I edit my crontab file, there is a note that it is created by salt and I shouldn't edit it. I edit it anyway and a few days later, my edits are gone and it has the warning again that it is created by salt. How do I add a cron job so that salt won't delete it? (talk) 18:50, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

According to Chapter 24 of the Redhat Training Manual that we have in our collection, salt is used to manage tasks across multiple servers and cron is used to automate tasks. In automation, it states that there should be /etc/cron.hourly, /etc/cron.daily, and more directories for cron. In each directory, there are text files which are scripts that are run by cron. Instead of editing crontab, add a script to the appropriate directory and it will be run by cron, avoiding interference by salt. This is, of course, RedHat based. Your system may be different. We have a few Ununtu books, but they don't mention salt in the table of contents or index. (talk) 13:39, 15 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe you just need to use Salt (software) itself to add a new task...? --CiaPan (talk) 03:08, 16 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

March 16[edit]

Apple Devices for Windows[edit]

Hello to Wikipedia community!

I have noticed that Apple Devices for Windows is replacing iTunes. Is there the standalone offline installer? Only download from Microsoft Store?

Many thanks in advance for all your answers!!! 2001:B07:6442:8903:F519:A3F3:9B32:FBEE (talk) 08:28, 16 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Try this search and see how far along that gets you. --Ouro (blah blah) 07:15, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

March 17[edit]

Procrastination with installing updates[edit]

When software updates are asked to be installed, a "Remind me later" (or "Ask me later" or something similar) button often appears, which could be seen as procrastination. So, is there a reason that software update popup windows often include such a "procrastination" button (besides being "annoying")? Procrastinating with the installation of updates would of course lead to risks. GeoffreyT2000 (talk) 14:17, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you are about to go onto a zoom call, and an update takes many minutes to complete, you wouldn't want to start the update then but you do later. Or if you're analysing data that takes days you probably don't want to install an update until your code finishes. Dja1979 (talk) 14:46, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How do people switch windows these days?[edit]

Sorry for the basic-looking question, but please bear with me.

Once upon a time, when multi-window displays had just been invented, you made a window active by clicking in it with your mouse. And then, once it was active, all its buttons and other controls became active, and you could start clicking on those.

Evidently some users found this a nuisance, because designers began special-casing some of the window controls, so that if you clicked on them in an inactive window, they acted immediately. (Stated another way, clicking on such a special-cased control does two things: it makes the window active, and does whatever the control does.) At first I think it was just the close box that behaved this way, but these days, more and more (perhaps all) controls seem to behave this way.

These days, there are also other ways to switch windows. I think Alt-Tab is pretty popular, and there are also things like the "Dock" under MacOS.

So, these days, I find that clicking in a window to make it active is tricky and dangerous. It can be tricky to find a bit of an inactive window that's exposed but not part of a special-cased control. And if I goof, or if there's some control that's invisible when the window's not active, clicking in a window like this can have arbitrarily bad — and sometimes unknowable! — consequences.

So I've come to conclusion that nobody — except me — ever clicks in windows to make them active any more. If they did, the danger it poses would be complained about, and designed around. Instead, everything's moving in the other direction: there's more and more window content that's active, and that's active even when the window's not active, and that's invisible when the window's not active or the mouse is not over it.

If I'm right, if nobody's clicking in windows to make them active any more, the feature could safely be removed entirely. No one would notice, except for me, and I'd be annoyed, but at least I'd be protected from my mistakes.

Or, if (as seems likely) my analysis of the situation is off-base, can someone explain what's really going on? —scs (talk) 19:21, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If I'm concerned about that sort of thing, what I do is click on the title bar. -- (talk) 19:45, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're not using the systems I'm using!
Have you not encountered "modern" applications with all sorts of helpful little tools shoehorned onto the title bar? I regularly find myself using applications for which there's not a single pixel in the title bar that's not active in some way. (Also, it's often the case that the only visible bit of the window I want, that's not obscured by all the other windows I've got open, does not include the title bar.) —scs (talk) 20:20, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good old Alt+Tab? --Ouro (blah blah) 20:15, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In my X config, I set it to ignore first click on an inactive window. I also set it so if I launch a program and then click on a screen, the program automatically launches on the screen I clicked on. There are usually configuation settings for just about everything you want. The trick is learning enough about the settings to find and set what you need to set. (talk) 21:23, 17 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just some thoughts:
The window manager is responsible for making windows active or inactive, although applications can ask it to activate windows. So if you click on some window to activate it, the window manager handles that click. The application is responsible for handling clicks on buttons or other active elements. The application doesn't know about mouse operations on inactive (out of focus) windows, as the window manager never passes those to the application. The window manager doesn't know about the contents of the window, like what button is where. It only passes the coordinates of the cursor, relative to the corner of the window, to the application controlling the active window.
A mouse click consists of two events: a press and a release. If the press is used to activate a window, the release can be passed on to the application. It's up to the application to decide whether a button or other element can be activated with just a release. A window manager could also use the press to activate a window, but at the same time forward that press to the application controlling that window. The window manager may be configurable in that aspect. But whether the window manager forwards this activating press event to the application cannot depend on what button is under the cursor, as the window manager doesn't know. You may want to look into the configuration of your window manager.
I normally shift focus to windows (activate them) by hovering the mouse over them, no click required. A click is only needed to raise the window over other windows. Most Linux window managers have that option. Most of the time I've only one window per workspace, so I switch window by switching workspace, which can be done by keyboard. As workspaces are in a 3×5 planar layout, I need at most 3 key presses with arrow keys, or 1 with ctrl+Fx, to go to any other workspace. On a linear layout, like you get with alt+tab switching, you may need up to 14 presses if you have 15 windows (7 if you can also move back). PiusImpavidus (talk) 11:12, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Microsoft Windows has or had a mode in which the active window was the one the cursor was in. No need to click. I liked this and wish macOS had a similar mode.  --Lambiam 11:18, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A screenshot of MS Windows' background application window responding to a mouse event (hover).
This: "The application doesn't know about mouse operations on inactive (out of focus) windows" seems incomplete, or not precise enough. The image shows a window of an internet browser, which responds to a mouse event (the cursor hovering over a hyper-link) with a tool-tip popping, while the window remains inactive (background), partially hidden behind an active (foreground) MS Teams' window. The visible response suggests the background window knows about the mouse operation and actively handles it. --CiaPan (talk) 12:36, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was not the one who wrote this.  --Lambiam 12:58, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

March 18[edit]

What is the best, most reliable modern mini pc available?[edit]

I have been unable to find a single review of any mini pc that doesn’t say "failed after two months, do not buy". Surely, there must be at least one reliable brand one can depend on? Viriditas (talk) 21:08, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That risks being a request for opinion. But here's a source for Apple having had a reputation for reliability (unsure if that's still true), and there exists the Mac Mini, which seems well thought of in its current "Apple silicon" iteration. If you sign the right documents, possibly they'll send you a new one when it breaks.  Card Zero  (talk) 16:56, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd second that. With Apple, you possibly do not get the very best, and you probably do not get the absolutely best value for money. But you do normally get predictably high quality and very good service. The problem with generic PCs ist that any particular model lives such a short life in the market place that reputation does not matter. In fact, when I worked in industry, even large companies had trouble guaranteeing us 30 computers of identical make (so that we could certify it once for compliance with the software and safety requirements), because they didn't now which exact hard drive or RAM stick their subcontractors put in. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:06, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will grant that Apple does have a reputation for "it just works"; however, if repairs are needed, the options can be limited and unduly expensive. Apple "genius bars" will too often only offer expensive board or other sub-assembly replacement options, when cost saving component level fixes are possible. Independent shops can perform component diagnostics and repairs, but are sometimes limited by restrictions Apple imposes on parts availability. All this is part of the "Right to Repair" movement.
All this may be moot if you are really looking for a Windows PC and not a Mac.
The reviews you read are anecdotal. Those who encounter failures will complain loudly. Those who do not remain silent. It is difficult to know what the real failure rate is. If you are looking for maximum reliability, my suggestion would be to avoid products targeting the end consumer. In that market, price rules and manufacturers will tend to cut corners to try to minimize costs. These might affect power supply stability, effective cooling design, or other aspects not apparent at time of sale but still have long term reliability implications. Instead, I suggest looking at thin clients by well known manufacturers that target business (such as Dell). Those products are more likely be be well designed for longevity and reliability, but at a cost. -- Tom N talk/contrib 21:24, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you, everyone. Viriditas (talk) 22:32, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I happen to know someone who happily used a Mac Mini for video editing, never experiencing a problem in many years of use, and recently bought a second one.  --Lambiam 17:32, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

March 19[edit]

Right mouse button stopped working[edit]

I just changed the battery on my mouse and now the right button doesn't do anything. I've tried turning the mouse off and on again, and taking the battery out and putting it back in. Windows 11. Help! DuncanHill (talk) 10:35, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Happened to me with the left button, and it turned out merely to have broken physically. You can get a right-click using the menu key, although this doesn't work perfectly: for a more genuine right-click, if you have a keypad, turn on "mouse keys" (which lets the keypad emulate the mouse), and press -, and now the 5 key will right-click. Mouse keys is under "accessibility" in the Windows 11 settings.  Card Zero  (talk) 16:27, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, I found an Edge extension called enable right click which seems to have done the trick. DuncanHill (talk) 17:13, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, so really it was Edge that had capriciously decided to disable right click? Or was it just that you were looking at one of those irritating sites that try to protect their content (and shepherd users around) by disabling it?  Card Zero  (talk) 17:52, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seemed to be every website, including Wikipedia. DuncanHill (talk) 23:01, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

AI to identify a autor?[edit]

Is there an artificial intelligence that can tell if the writer of a text is female or male? 2A02:908:424:9D60:C8A1:B96F:3DD1:7D44 (talk) 22:51, 19 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ehh, maybe yes, have a try of GPT-4 -Lemonaka‎ 08:35, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
AI can answer with text. So, suppose you've got some text from AI; what answer would you expect to your question with respect to that text? --CiaPan (talk) 12:05, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Well, it depends what you mean by "artificial intelligence". If your definition is loose enough, it’s really easy.
Here’s one:
#1: the coin flip
import random  # huh oh
input_text = "Put your text here"
if random.rand() < 0.5:
    print("Methinks it was written by a man")
    print("Methinks it was written by a woman")
It flips a coin to tell the answer, but it’s computer code, so it’s artificial intelligence, right?
That "AI" had a roughly 50% success rate. Can we do better? Enter candidate #2:
#2: it’s always men
print("It was written by a man, definitely, no question about it.")
Most well-known books were written by men (for obvious socio-cultural reasons that we need not delve into here), so that performs above 50%.
You want better than that? OK, here’s candidate #3:
#3: the know-it-all
input_text = "Put your text here"
if "Ein Gespenst geht um in Europa – das Gespenst des Kommunismus" in input_text:
    print("That’s the Communist Manifesto, written by Marx and Engels, two men.")
elif "I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel" in input_text:
    print("That’s Frankenstein, written by Mary Shelley, a woman.")
elif (...snip thousands of lines...)
    print("no idea, that’s not in my database")
That is simply a (poorly-formatted) database of known quotes and the associated answers. Obviously, it only works on text that the programmer knew and incorporated in the program. It seems silly to call that "artificial intelligence".
To produce candidate #4, have a postgraduate student program a neural network and feed it a bunch of texts for which the answer is known (including the Communist Manifesto, Frankenstein, etc.). Now we’re talking, right? The issue is that depending on how you do it, it’s really easy for that method to degenerate into candidate #3 (see overfitting).
My point is that there is no fundamental difference between candidates #1 through #4. "Artificial intelligence" is a nontechnical term that means "emulating human intelligence by mechanical means", but that definition is a moving target. Few modern people would think a calculator to be artificial intelligence, but the difference engine certainly caused quite a stir. Today, we do not think it weird that a free phone app can beat the world champion at chess; less than 30 years ago, Deep Blue versus Garry Kasparov was a shock to many. TigraanClick here for my talk page ("private" contact) 14:02, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note that per Card Zero's point below, people have been doing this sort of thing with some claimed success since before Gmail existed and when Deep Blue was still a relatively recent thing. See e.g. [1] [2] Maybe even before then. Nil Einne (talk) 15:56, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, gender is mentioned at author profiling.  Card Zero  (talk) 15:45, 20 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

March 20[edit]